Soller’s gone sporty
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
Tuesday 29th September 2015
Photographs by Rachel Fox
As autumn arrives the Soller Valley has turned to sport.  Groups of walkers are taking the place of the sunbathers and stout boots and backpacks have replaced bikinis.  I really would like to know what they carry in those bags – surely a packet of sandwiches, bottle of water and a plastic Mac don’t need all that tackle. The Soller Valley is the perfect place for winter walks and route marches and the athletes come in all shapes and sizes.
The group that humble me are those who are here against the odds.  The numbers of people who are walking for their health are too many to count.  People recovering from strokes who know the benefits of the sport are well represented and try so hard with the disabilities that their condition has left them with. The desire to embrace life and walk for health is great to see and is a subject that the Tourism gurus are coming to grips with.
An aging population means that travellers and holidaymakers are travelling with more chronic conditions than ever before.  Majorca is fortunate in the services of Sandra and her team from Hamill Care and other companies like them that exist to support disabled and chronically sick people whilst on holiday.  The walking sticks are not only used to scale the mountains but they are often the most basic of tools that holidaymakers buy while they are here. This is a very big issue and one that Town Councils like Soller have to address with their uneven pavements and cobbled streets.  The welcome that Soller extends to visitors cannot discriminate against those who are not so steady on their feet.
From October the Son Angelats Sports Centre is opening its winter classes and timetable.  Everything is possible in this great complex with sports for the very fit and those who haven’t quite got there yet.  A worry of last week was the announcement that the centre is broke and that new charges for yearly and single admission are likely soon.  The deficit is large and now sponsorship is being looked at as a way of funding.
Everyone is so grateful for this sports centre and it is very well used.  The chance that it is under threat is very depressing.
Sport comes here in many guises and next weekend it is the turn of the fast cars in the mountains.  For the past 38 years at this time of year it is time for the Pujada of the Puig Mayor to delight us.   This is a two day car rally that centres on the Sa Tuelera area of the American road between Soller and Fornalutx.  The cars gather on Saturday 3rd October 2015 around noon and race over the mountains towards Pollensa and back.  On Sunday they start at 8 am and repeat the race until the prize giving at 2 pm outside the Sa Tuelera restaurant.  This car rally attracts thousands of spectators to Soller bringing with them a selection of classic cars of their own.  If this sport is for you there is nowhere better than our valley this coming weekend.
The moon has caused a stir these past few nights and brought out many who swear by the energising that super new moons and eclipses can bring.  This has taken the yoga and meditation gurus to the beach in the middle of the night.  To practice their exercises and breathing bathed in the light of the biggest moon for years was an experience not to be missed – so I was told.  This is hopefully the beginning of a wind down for those who have had a very hard working season.  To take a little time out for themselves under the light of of a glorious moon can only be a good thing.
Preparation for the arrival of the Refugees in Soller is underway and the volunteers are doing the groundwork.  Each Saturday, in front of the Town Hall a stall is manned by representatives of the Refugees Committee of Soller.  They are getting peoples commitment to do what they can.  They are looking for empty properties which can be made ready for Syrian families.  Clothes, food, toys, money and time are also high on their list. The housing issue is crucial and Soller is an area with many empty semi derelict houses.  The will to requisition these for use by the refugees and the allocation of workers to fit them for purpose is a massive undertaking.  The new administration has a huge task ahead of them but they are assisted by the good will of the Sollerics.
The Georgie Insull singers and pianist Richard Vinton have already agreed to perform a benefit Christmas Concert for the refugees in Soller on Friday December 18th at 8 pm.  This is the first of many events that will fill our winter for this purpose as our community takes responsibility for doing what it can to help.
Moving into autumn has many elements this year from getting fit to caring for those who have nothing.  A busy time ahead for us all…+

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